Multifunctional fluorescent nanoparticles for cancer surgery show promise

November 14, 2017, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists

Even with pre-operative imaging techniques, surgeons still rely on visual inspection to locate malignant tissues during surgery. New research released today at the 2017 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition may help surgeons better view and treat these tumor cells with engineered naphthalocyanine-based nanoparticles (SiNc-PNP) injected 24 hours before surgery, which then light up when they connect with the cancerous tumors.

In the study, "Single Theranostic Agent for Image-Guided Surgery and Intraoperative Phototherapy for Cancer Treatment," researchers developed an activatable theranostic nanoplatform that can be used for two purposes: delineation with a real-time near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence signal during surgery, and an intraoperative targeted treatment to further eliminate hard-to-remove tumors by non-toxic .

"You can relate these like a light switch, they are off until the tumor cells turn them on," said the study's lead researcher Oleh Taratula, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmaceutics, Oregon State University. "Tumor cells can be close to healthy tissue, blood vessels and more, making them challenging to remove. The surgeon can shine the near-infrared light on the now-glowing cells and these nanoparticles will absorb the light transferring it to a heat to eliminate the ."

The developed nanoparticles were successfully delivered to, accumulated at, and even penetrated into the core of tumors in animal models. Subsequently, these activatable SiNc-encapsulated polymeric nanoparticles turned on the NIR fluorescence at the tumor site, offering high cancer-to-tissue contrast imaging.

The feasibility of activatable SiNc-PNP in the application of real-time intraoperative image-guided surgery was demonstrated using Fluobeam 800, an FDA-approved intraoperative NIR imaging system, during which sensitive fluorescence detection of cancer tumors was observed for .

Phototherapy during surgery in mice demonstrated successful removal of the subcutaneous tumor guided by the fluorescence signal from SiNc. The NIR was shown on the tumor 24 hours after injection (10 minutes) of the nanoparticles. Chemoresistant tumors, when treated with this single dose of phototherapy, were completely eradicated from the mice, with no tumor recurrence detected during the experiment.

Taratula added, "We think these nanoparticles could be a powerful diagnostic and treatment tool to enhance surgical outcomes and patient prognosis for a variety of cancers in the future."

The next step for the researchers is to confirm the efficacy of the phototheranostic nanoplatform by conducting image-guided in combination with phototherapy in additional animal models.

Explore further: New imaging technique could ID additional ovarian tumors not visible to surgeons' eyes

More information: Single Theranostic Agent for Image-Guided Surgery and Intraoperative Phototherapy for Cancer Treatment will be presented Tuesday, Nov. 14, noon - 1:00 p.m. (PST), Poster Forum 5 in the San Diego Convention Center: annual.aapsmeeting.org/poster/member/102491

Related Stories

New imaging technique could ID additional ovarian tumors not visible to surgeons' eyes

June 15, 2016
A newly devised tumor-specific fluorescent agent and imaging system guided surgeons in real time to remove additional tumors in ovarian cancer patients that were not visible without fluorescence or could not be felt during ...

Researchers deliver first 'nanotherapeutics' to tumor

May 15, 2017
For the first time, WSU researchers have demonstrated a way to deliver a drug to a tumor by attaching it to a blood cell. The innovation could let doctors target tumors with anticancer drugs that might otherwise damage healthy ...

Glowing tumors help Penn surgeons cut out brain cancer with precision

November 16, 2016
An experimental cancer imaging tool that makes tumors glow brightly during surgery has shown promise again in a new Penn Medicine clinical study, this time in patients with brain cancer. The fluorescent dye technique, originally ...

Glowing tumor technology helps surgeons remove hidden cancer cells

July 27, 2017
Surgeons were able to identify and remove a greater number of cancerous nodules from lung cancer patients when combining intraoperative molecular imaging (IMI) - through the use of a contrast agent that makes tumor cells ...

Combined optical and molecular imaging could guide breast-conserving surgery

June 1, 2017
Breast-conserving surgery (BCS) is the primary treatment for early-stage breast cancer, but more accurate techniques are needed to assess resection margins during surgery to avoid the need for follow-up surgeries. Now, in ...

Recommended for you

DNA vaccine leads to immune responses in HPV-related head and neck cancer

September 21, 2018
A therapeutic vaccine can boost antibodies and T cells, helping them infiltrate tumors and fight off human papillomavirus (HPV)-related head and neck cancer. Researchers from the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of ...

In zebrafish, a way to find new cancer therapies, targeting tumor modulators

September 21, 2018
The lab of Leonard Zon, MD, at Boston Children's Hospital has long been interested in making blood stem cells in quantity for therapeutic purposes. Looking for a way to test for their presence in zebrafish, their go-to research ...

What can salad dressing tell us about cancer? Think oil and vinegar

September 20, 2018
Researchers led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have identified another way the process that causes oil to form droplets in water may contribute to solid tumors, such as prostate and breast cancer. The ...

Novel biomarker found in ovarian cancer patients can predict response to therapy

September 20, 2018
Despite months of aggressive treatment involving surgery and chemotherapy, about 85 percent of women with high-grade wide-spread ovarian cancer will have a recurrence of their disease. This leads to further treatment, but ...

Testing fluorescent tracers used to help surgeons determine edges of breast cancer tumors

September 20, 2018
A team of researchers with members from institutions in The Netherlands and China has conducted a test of fluorescent tracers meant to aid surgeons performing tumor removal in breast cancer patients. In their paper published ...

Cancer immunotherapy might benefit from previously overlooked immune players

September 20, 2018
Cancer immunotherapy—efforts to boost a patient's own immune system, allowing it to better fight cancer cells on its own—has shown great promise for some previously intractable cancers. Yet immunotherapy doesn't work ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.